Fatou is a new WGEP high school scholar in Senegal. Despite struggles to keep up with both her schoolwork and responsibilities at home, Fatou continued to work hard and, with a little support, is now excelling in school!
Here is her story:
"My name is Fatou and I am in 9th grade at a high school in Sokone, Senegal.
I became a WGEP Sisters to School scholar this year. My mother died when I was very young, so my elderly father raised me. My father worked very hard to support our family, but he never had the means to pay for my studies. This year, I wanted to drop out of school because I couldn’t manage our home and go to school at the same time. Whenever I was in class, I would think of my father who had nothing to eat without my help. I couldn’t concentrate on my studies, so the only choice was the stay home and help him.
Fortunately, around this time I was selected for a Sisters to School scholarship! My father was extremely relieved because the program takes care of my school fees and provides me with supplies each month. I also receive tutoring classes, which I greatly need and have wanted for a long time. I can honestly say that it’s thanks to this program that I am continuing my studies.
You do wonderful work and I hope the program will continue on so that other underprivileged girls can be helped and continue their education. With education, they will be able to succeed in life."
Although she had a late start to her education, Ndéye has successfully overcome this setback and become the best reader in her class! Here is a message from Ndéye:
My name is Ndéye and I am 10 years old. I attend a primary school in Sokone where I am in the 4th grade. I became a WGEP program beneficiary in October 2014.
Before the program, I was unable to enroll in school because my parents lacked the means to pay for my education. They had to wait for the peanut harvest each year, hoping to sell enough to be able to pay for my school registration fees. My mother never went to school, so she was unable to help me study at home. As a result, I had difficulties in school, especially with reading. Now, my mother participates in the Adult Literacy classes also offered by the program. With her new skills, she is able to help me study.
I can now read very well—I’m the best in my class and have an A average! Thank you very much for your support and for helping me in my studies.
7-year-old Amy is one of the newest additions to our WGEP scholar family. Selected for a scholarship because of her family's lack of means, Amy has proven herself to be a very bright young person with a strong desire to learn. She has thrived in school and is a true inspiration to us all. Please enjoy this message from Amy:
My name is Amy and I am in first grade at a public school in Senegal. I used to have problems reading, so my teacher recommended me for tutoring through the 2015 remedial classes. I come from an illiterate family, so I had no one to help me read at home. The tutoring helped me to make up for this void. Now I read very well! Since the beginning of this year, I have been the best student in my class! My parents are very proud of me and happy with the program. Thank you for your generous support!
Please enjoy this note we received from Bineta, a recent WGEP graduate:
Hi, my name is Bineta and I became a Sisters to School Senegal scholar in 2012.
In the beginning, my father did not want me to go to school because he did not value education for girls. This is why I didn’t attend school until the age of 8. After a while, my father saw that I was smart, so he began to encourage me. I had some problems pursuing my studies since I come from a family with no financial means. My parents are illiterate; my father dropped out of school early due to his family's lack of funds. Fearing the same thing would happen to me, my parents worked hard to pay for my studies. I started school but had to leave due to our lack of money and the fact that I received no study help at home.
Happily, in 2012, I got the chance to become a scholar in the Sisters to School program. My parents could finally breathe a sigh of relief. They no longer had to do anything about my studies. The program pays for my tutoring, school supplies and school fees. I also receive toiletries and personal effects at the end of each month. I am happy now because these were the things I was missing. My friends often tell me that I am spoiled by the project. I am so thankful for Sisters to School because the tutoring greatly helped me to pass my final high school exam. My parents and I are very proud to be a part of the project.
Earlier this month, WGEP hosted its first ever “higher education panel,” a panel featuring five of Sokone’s finest female role models. Three of the five panelists were alumni of WGEP’s “Our Sisters to School” program (see photo below). The panelists displayed a range of professional and academic interests, including hotel manager, French teacher, and information technology student. The goal of the panel was to help guide and orient the 53 newly minted high school graduates of our “Sisters to School” program in terms of opportunities in higher education. The attendees enthusiastically soaked up the panelists’ pearls of wisdom.
As a result of the panel, 10 girls registered for university for the first time and 14 girls modified their online registration. In addition to offering a forum for registration – an uncommon opportunity for girls living in villages without electricity – the higher education panel allowed for the exchange of ideas and backgrounds between both the attendees and the panelists, an experience that one high school graduate declared as, “especially rich”. During the event, attendees, “Sisters to School” alumni panelists, and current Femmes Plus employees gave thanks and appreciation to Adji Senghor, Program Director of “Sisters to School”. Since the panel ended, Adji’s phone has been ringing continually, with the high school graduates calling to express their gratitude for what was an inspiring day for these young women as they continue their path towards autonomy.
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